Singapore Airlines Ltd (SIA) said on Thursday confirmed that it is in discussion with India’s Tata Group about a potential merger of Vistara, their joint venture airline, with Air India to give the Singaporean carrier a stronger presence in South Asia.
It is worth noting that Singapore Airlines Limited holds a 49% equity interest in Tata SIA Airlines Limited, which operates Vistara and the balance 51% equity interest in Vistara is held by the Tata Group.
SIA in an official statement on Thursday said, “The discussions seek to deepen the existing partnership between SIA and Tata and may include a potential integration of Vistara and Air India.”
It stated that no definitive terms on a deal that would create a more formidable competitor to the country’s dominant airline, IndiGo, as well as Middle Eastern rivals that carry a large share of India’s international traffic, had been reached.
In comparison to its more mature home market, India has strong domestic and international traffic flows that are expected to double over the next ten years, according to SIA.
After completing its acquisition of the formerly state-owned Indian national carrier in January, Tata now fully owns Air India.
SIA did not participate in the bidding process because it was focused on repairing its balance sheet, but Campbell Wilson, a former senior executive at the Singaporean carrier, began as Air India’s new CEO in July.
In order to restore its reputation after years of losses, the Indian airline is rebuilding its fleet and aiming for a domestic market share of at least 30% over the next five years.
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